Starting in January 2005, Craig Ferguson became the host of The Late Late Show, in the 12:30am time slot taking over for Craig Kilborn. The ever-witty Scott started his show as many others, reading some jokes from cue cards, with some ad-libbed material in between. Realizing the ad-libbed portion was getting more laughs, he set himself apart from the rest of the group and opened each show with a fairly unrehearsed opening, and the rest, as they say, is history. With a decade long span Ferguson recently announced he is stepping down as host, and borrowing the term from the Martin/Paltrow breakup, calling the separation between the network as “consciously uncoupling”. His last stint as host will be in December this year.
With so many memories and characters, we take a look at Ferguson’s Top 10 moments on the program, and with so many to choose from we chose to capture a wide variety and mix, with monologues, guests, and, of course, puppets and robots.
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10. Roof Leak
Coming out during his monologue in a yellow raincoat and hat said it all, as his CBS studio had sprung a leak in the roof with a water bucket underneath, and mops the floor so his guests don’t slip as they enter.
9. Geoff Peterson
Borderlining on just straight odd, Ferguson’s sidekick is a robot named Geoff Peterson. Thankfully a few years ago Peterson got an upgrade and lost the stale robotic voice with actor/comedian Josh Robert Thompson in control, and it has been hysterical mayhem since.
8. Power Outage
In 2009 much of Los Angeles lost power and Ferguson was in a middle of an interview with actress Alicia Silverstone when it happened. The network went to commercial, and the power came back on long enough for his next guest Salman Rushdie, but then went off again after a commercial break. Like the pro he is, a power outage didn’t stop him.
7. Russell Brand Interview
Russell Brand is much smarter than he gets credit for and being able to verbally spar with Ferguson serves as a highlight in both their careers.
6. Britney Spears Monologue
Taking a serious note Ferguson stands up for Britney Spears as she goes through one of the worst times of her life, after she had shaved her head and was obviously on drugs. Speaking from his own alcohol addiction, Ferguson states he will not be making fun of Spears again.
5. Wavy Rancheros
One of several puppet characters, probably the best known, and loved, is the crocodile Wavy Rancheros, with his Cajun accent, and received his name because he likes to wave at the audience. Wavy actually hosted the 1000th episode.
4. Kristen Bell opening monologue
A close friend and several-time guest Kristen Bell joins Ferguson for his opening monologue and the two play off each other as if they had rehearsed it a hundred times.
3. Robin Williams Interview
There are maybe a handful of people in the world that can keep up with the mind of Robin Williams, and Ferguson does it perfectly. Dropping in and out of characters and accents, with the quick minded improvisation, watching Ferguson and Williams work off one another is pure genius.
2. Father Monologue/Eulogy
In an ode to his father that had just passed away, Ferguson described the process of a wake, not dissimilar to a roast, and gave the man he loved a proper send off.
1. Archbishop Desmond Tutu Interview
In 2009 Ferguson won the Peabody Award for journalistic and programming excellence for his interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The seriousness and wit that Ferguson displayed during the interview was brilliant, and extremely well received.